Batten down the hatches for this one; it’s about to get crazy!
The Ordinary created an affordable, yet highly powerful water-free high-potency antioxidant formula that might be one of the strongest antioxidants available. The Ordinary EUK-134 0.1% claims to reduce visible redness and protect against the appearance of UV damage. But does it work as they claim it should?
What, Exactly, is EUK-134?
Used for years to combat oxidative stress on internal organs like kidneys, its use in skin care is still fairly recent.
To be exact, EUK-134 is a mimetic – or mimicker – of superoxide dismutase and catalase. These are both enzymes that help to break down oxygen molecules in cells, which have the potential to actually cause harm, rummaging around as free radicals. It has the very rare ability to formulate a self-generating molecule that scavenges for superoxide free radicals, gets rid of hydrogen peroxide, and converts free oxygen species into harmless water and oxygen. In other words, it’s a super antioxidant.
EUK-134 has the ability to regenerate itself, so its antioxidant support never wanes.
Studies have even shown that it has the ability to help soothe and protect skin plagued by radiation dermatitis and promote wound healing. Studies have yet to be done on humans, but it’s looking promising.
Though EUK-134 is a relatively expensive ingredient, it’s been proven to be effective at very small doses. That’s good news for your pocket book. While The Ordinary’s formulation utilizes double the concentrations found in most other products, its effective concentration is still very small at 0.1%.
A Strong Antioxidant
According to the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, researchers note that EUK-134 helps to protect your DNA from damage, reduces oxidative damage, and increases cell survival, even after UVB irradiation. It works by scavenging for oxidative species like peroxynitrite, superoxide, and hydrogen peroxide. It boasts that it protects your skin’s complexion from the ravages of those damaging free radicals.
Now the Test
While The Ordinary EUK-134 0.1% has a big effect on your skin, it’s not harsh or overbearing. I know someone with very sensitive skin, and using this product didn’t cause any aggravation, redness, or sensitivity at all. When I first applied it, I felt like I noticed a difference the next day. During application, there was a gentle warming sensation, but that dissipated pretty quickly and wasn’t uncomfortable at all. I wasn’t very keen on the fact that it has a slightly sticky feel going on, but the next day, my face was literally glowing! There were none of my usual dry patches, and I didn’t break at all from using it. I’m not sure I’m a fan of the stickiness, but I can avoid that by using the product only at bedtime, instead of applying in the morning before going outside.
What The Ordinary EUK-134 0.1% is Lacking
While this product offers a bunch of highly effective ingredients, it’s lacking in one ingredient that many products offer: that’s water. Don’t get me wrong. Leaving water out was a sound decision and doesn’t detract from the efficacy. In fact, it only adds to it. Water is known to have a negative effect on the stability of antioxidants, which are fat-soluble vitamins. With no water bogging down the works, you can be assured that the antioxidants are able to work at full capacity, doing what they do best.
It’s also lacking silicones, oils, and alcohols, products that can also destabilize antioxidants, in addition to avoiding sulfates, parabens, formaldehydes, formaldehyde-releasing agents, phthalates, and mineral oil.
How to Use The Ordinary EUK-134 0.1%
This thick, serum-like liquid comes in a generous 30-ml bottle. You don’t really need to use a lot for it to be effective. You apply a few drops to your skin, and gently massage in. It can be used either alone or as a part of your regular beauty routine. The only hold-up is that it can’t be used with acids, especially strong ones (see below).
If you’re using it as a part of your regimen, you’ll want to apply it after your water-based treatments, but before your thicker treatments like oils, moisturizers, and creams. You can even mix it in with your other (non-acidic) products to give them an added boost of antioxidants.
If your skincare routine generally consists of an acid or two for anti-aging or skin brightening purposes, you should avoid using them at the same time. Strong acids, such as suspensions of ascorbic acid, will completely break down EUK-134, since it’s created from manganese.